Gold last traded at $1,511 an ounce. Silver at $18.02 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices shot upward Monday on safe haven buying and market uncertainty. U.S. stocks fell sharply amid fears that a surge in oil prices, following an attack in Saudi Arabia, could slow down global economic growth.

 

 

 

U.S. Recession Risks Jump

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graph 3078539 640U.S. recession risks jump, Fed rate hike expectations slump -Reuters
"The risk of a U.S. recession in the next two years has risen to 40 percent, according to a Reuters poll of economists who also found a significant shift in expectations toward fewer Federal Reserve interest rate rises next year. What has fueled concerns of a downturn is the flattening of the U.S. yield curve - with the spread between two- and 10-year note yields falling to less than 10 basis points, the smallest gap since the run-up to the last U.S. recession....

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Builder Confidence Slumps

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new home 1664272 640Home builder confidence hits 3 1/2 year low as housing crunch worsens -Marketwatch
"The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index tumbled four points to 56 in December. The December decline took the sentiment index to the lowest since May 2015. It followed a breathtaking plunge from October to November and brought the full-year 2018 average for the index to 67, one point lower than 2017. The buyer traffic tracker fell two points to 43, its lowest level since March 2016....

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Gold: A Perfect Storm For 2019

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gold is money 2020767 640Gold - A Perfect Storm For 2019 -Seeking Alpha
"For gold bulls, 2018 was disappointing...Gold had to struggle against a rising dollar, whose trade-weighted index rose a net 3.7% over the same period, and as much as 9.4% from its mid-February low. Dollar strength has been driven less by trade imbalances and more by interest rate differentials....

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Stock Market: A Race to the Bottom

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Race To the BottomU.S. Stock Market Exodus Is Second-Biggest Ever, BofA Says -Bloomberg
"Investors rushed out of U.S. equity funds in the second-biggest weekly exit on record, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the market sell-off pushed traders to seek safe havens....The turmoil in stocks, which has erased as much as $4 trillion in U.S. equities since the end of September, continued this month as traders feared that a global economic slowdown will curb earnings growth and end the equity bull run....

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Bitcoin Wasn't a Bubble Until It Was

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bitcoin 2007769 640Bitcoin Wasn’t a Bubble Until It Was -Wall Street Journal
"Bitcoin owners still holding on for dear life after an 82% decline are putting on a brave face, but there is no more denying that we have witnessed the popping of a classic bubble. Some believers in blockchain's vast potential agree and rue the gold-rush mentality. Others are in denial, characterizing the current rout as just another bump in the road for a transformative technology....Similar to the tech bubble, financially marginal companies could multiply their value through cryptocurrency association. Take Long Island Iced Tea Corp. The money-losing firm’s shares briefly surged by nearly 300% after it changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp. at the height of the frenzy last December. Buyers of bitcoin near the top weren't just overconfident - a hallmark of bubbles - but were dismissive of skeptics as Luddites who just didn’t get it. Bulls said the same thing in 1999 during the tech boom. The bitcoin bubble, following the housing bubble and the tech bubble, is the third in less than 20 years. Clearly, bursting bubbles don’t inoculate us against falling for another one."

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